A cop was martyred while four others were injured in a terrorist attack targeting a census team in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan district, according to police.
Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Yaqoob Zulqarnain, a spokesman for DI Khan police, told Dawn.com that the terrorist attack occurred in the far-flung area of Gira Mastan within the limits of Daraban Police Station.
“The census team, accompanied by police personnel, was working in the area when unknown armed men attacked the police party,” he said. He added that the attackers fled after targeting the police mobile van.
Zulqarnain said that the five police personnel injured in the attack were moved to the District Headquarters Hospital for treatment where one of them died.
He said that police and other law enforcement agencies reached the area and initiated a search operation to hunt down the perpetrators, adding that no arrests had been made so far.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police identified the martyred officer as Constable Gul Faraz and the injured as ASI Hayatullah, Constable Aftab, Constable Mohammad Naeem and Sabir, the driver.
The banned militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Surge in terrorism
Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country has worsened, with terrorist groups executing attacks with near impunity across the country.
Since the talks with the TTP broke down in November, the militant group has intensified its attacks, particularly targeting the police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and areas bordering Afghanistan. Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the TTP.
According to statistics released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, an Islamabad-based think-tank, January 2023 remained one of the deadliest months since July 2018, as 134 people lost their lives — a 139 per cent spike — and 254 received injuries in at least 44 militant attacks across the country.